From left, Fr. Aren Shaheenian, Sergio Nahabetian, Edmond Azadian, Archbishop Kissag Mouradian, Susanna Nahabetian and Amb. Hovhannes Virabyan

Reinauguration of Buenos Aires’ Tekeyan Center

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BUENOS AIRES — On Tuesday, March 14, two activities were held at the Tekeyan Cultural Center of Buenos Aires, Argentina: a press conference and meeting with Edmond Y. Azadian, president of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada; and the reinauguration of the Tekeyan Cultural Center of Buenos Aires.

From left, Edmond Azadian, Susanna Nahabetian and Sergio Nahapetian looking at old issues of Sardarabad weekly

After the press conference, a plaque was unveiled in memory of Nahabet Nahabetian, a great community activist, benefactor, and leader of the Tekeyan Cultural Association and the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party of South America. The newly installed elevator of the building, providing accessibility to the handicapped and elderly, was blessed by the Locum Tenens of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Argentina and Chile Very Rev. Fr. Aren Shaheenian, Archbishop Kissag Mouradian, and Rev. Fathers Egishe Nazarian, Mesrob Nazarian and Drtad Ohanyan. The modern facility now includes air conditioning in all rooms, and after the interruption of the Covid pandemic, is ready to continue to serve Armenian culture.

Edmond Azadian center, with representatives of the Armenian cultural and educational institutions of Argentina

Armenian Ambassador to Argentina Hovhannes Virabyan and Fr. Aren Shaheenian spoke on the importance of culture in Armenian national life as a tool for preservation. Azadian took the floor to give the history of the poet Vahan Tekeyan, and the reason why the cultural association was named after this “Prince of Poets” in 1947. He spoke of the arduous period of the Cold War and the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s efforts to bringing artists and poets from Soviet Armenia to the diaspora, as well as the difficult times of the Argentine Tekeyan organization during the military juntas of the 1970s. Then, he bestowed Sergio Nahabetian with the golden emblem of the logo of Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Edmond Azadian speaking at the reinauguration ceremony

The president of the local Tekeyan Cultural Association, Sergio Nahabetian, responded with a speech thanking those present, including the abovementioned individuals as well as Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Honorary President Ruben Kechichian, AGBU President Antonio Sarafian, Administrative Institution of the Armenian Church President Varty Manoukian and All Armenian Fund President Alejandro Kalpakian.

Ambassador Hovhannes Virabyan speaking at the reinauguration ceremony

Nahabetian declared: “Seeing this Tekeyan Cultural Center forces us to do a bit of history. It all began in the 1970s when Nahabet Nahabetian bought the property of Niceto Vega 4777, and turned that old house into the headquarters of Tekeyan and the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party. But he did not do this work alone. He was accompanied by great colleagues such as Avedis Barsamian from Uruguay, Barkev Dergarabetian, Avedis Nalbandian from Uruguay, Haig Shahinian, Aram Donikian, Dicran Guezikaraian, Ardashes Vaneskeheyan, Jose Nerguizian, Armando Balassanian, and the then very young Daniel Youssefian, Mihran Sarafian and Miguel Ekizian. With drive and work they bought these two properties on Armenia Street and together with Haig Emirian they promoted the work of the Suren and Virginia Fesjian Center, named after benefactors from the United States of America who contributed financially to the construction of the headquarters. The Tekeyan Cultural Association has always lived up to its name and has always become not only the place where the Sardarabad newspaper was prepared and designed, with its Compugraphics donated by Alex Manoogian, and …then printed, but also a cultural center where countless art shows, book presentations, conferences, venues for gallery nights, painting courses and Armenian needle art, and much more, were presented. This is where we must highlight the enormous work of Diana Dergarabetian who for many years took over not only the direction of the weekly but also most of the cultural activities.”

Memorative plaque for Nahabet Nahabetian, founder of Tekeyan and ADL of Argentina

Susana Dergarabetian Nahabetian prepared the project and design for the remodeling of the building, Nahabetian continued. He thanked the artists, Alejandro Avakian, Mirta Kirbassian, and Gladys Apkarian, who kindly donated their works to provide an even more impressive setting for the reopening, and gave special thanks to Jorge Sarrafian for serving as the eyes and ears of the aforementioned designer.

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